Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt

Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt


Title: Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt
Author: Lisa Campbell Ernst

Summary: This story is about a man named Sam Johnson. He wanted to join his wife's quilting club, but his wife told him that he couldn't because it was no place for a man to be. He was upset and decided to get other men to join the quilting contest. They formed a male quilting group and they spent days making their quilt. As both men and women were on the way to the contest, their quilts landed on mud puddle and both the men and women were upset. In the end, they used unsoiled sections from both quilts to make a new quilt. Their new product was beautiful and they all won the contest.

The reason why I like this book is because it shows that both men and women are capable of doing anything they desire. In one of the pages in the book, you will see Sam Johnson putting up signs that say, "Equal rights for men!" which is very rare to see. We usually see signs that are made for women- not men. This is a good book to introduce gender roles. Students can first discuss certain labels men and women might have. This is also good for classroom management because children can be given jobs in the class that both boys and girls can do.

This book is also great because it deals with quilts. Quilts are a great way to integrate reading, math, writing, history, etc. Students can write on each quilt; they can write about their personal experiences, about their cultural backgrounds, etc. Then all the students can either sew or glue a quilt together. Quilts are also a great way to study patterns and shapes.

Stages of Social Justice: 
I think this book touched upon all 5 stages of social justice education. Through this book, students will learn to love themselves, love others, understand sexism, and find the need to change this stereotype.

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